Serafin Martinez has always loved collecting art. Around a decade ago, he and husband Thai ran out of wall space for all their acquisitions.
“I decided I would try my hand at listing the works on eBay. Slowly but surely we started selling at a profit. We then started to meet artists, other dealers and galleries.”
Martinez Art Dealer came to fruition in 2012. Serafin and Thai source directly from artists and wholesalers, the majority of which are Australian.
According to Serafin, the Sydney art dealing world is cut-throat and without much space for a bespoke customer experience.
“I have clients say that when walking into a main street gallery they feel intimidated or pressured with a hard sell. There’s snobbery attached to those galleries.
“That’s why we created our private gallery downstairs in the basement of our building. Our clients can book appointments and when they come in, they get a full 360 experience and my individual attention.”
The studio is below their home, a converted warehouse that was once a felt hat factory in the 1930s. The ceilings reach 5 metres high and a heavy metal barn door opens up to a two-level gallery space and the immense collection of curated artworks.
“I give at least 30 minutes to an hour to each client, so they can be with the paintings undisturbed.”
Serafin is with his clients before, during and after the sale. He even offers a free home visit service where he and Thai drive the prospective artwork to the client’s home to trial it on their wall before purchase, with no obligations.
“It’s hard to envision it at home when it’s on a gallery wall. At home they can feel the dynamic of the work in the space. Generally, it turns into a sale.”
Teenagers getting into art for the first time and seasoned collectors alike are catered for by Serafin, with works for every budget and highly individualised service.
Ring or email Serafin to make an appointment or browse over 500 works in the online gallery. Local Rewards members can receive 10 to 20% discount on purchases.
Martinez Art Dealer
By Private Appointment Only, 15-27 Hutchinson St, Surry Hills NSW 2010